Momentum and the feelgood factor

by   |   13/07/2017  22 Comments  [Jump to last]

Momentum! The feelgood factor! We have it or did we have it? I can remember meeting Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in Watford, I was there on work, when they were campaigning before a General Election. When they came into the hall, the atmosphere changed because they both entered with the confidence of people who knew they were going to win. They entered as 'New Labour', which was what the nation craved.

Last season, after the turn of the year, whenever Everton strode out at Goodison Park they, and we fans, had the same feeling. We had momentum, we had the feelgood factor, we were 'New Everton'. However, we never carried that feeling, that momentum, into away games. We never maintained the momentum or feelgood factor long enough to sustain a top 4 or 6 challenge; we reverted to 'Old Everton'.

This Summer, we have gained such momentum and such a feelgood factor in the early part of the transfer window (bringing in England's future No 1, a potential future England regular centre-back, a Dutch international and club captain, and a Spanish wonderkid), we are now 'New Everton' without doubt.

I am now concerned our momentum and the feelgood factor is starting to drain away. No disrespect is meant, but the Rooney return and Lukaku departure have split fans and, at the least, slowed our momentum. The Sigurdsson transfer saga is beginning to feel very 'Old Everton', with the potential to drag on until someone gazumps us or it fizzles out with no movement this window. The names we are now being linked with – Benteke, Bony, Martina – are most definitely 'Old Everton'.

My concern is we could end up entering what should be a hugely exciting season on a bit of a downer; and that is the last thing we need given we MUST qualify for the Europa League group stage and gain points in a tough set of opening Premier League fixtures. If we don't, we will spend another season battling for 'best of the rest' and celebrating not being beaten as badly as we thought we would, like 'New old Labour' under Corbyn.

Our season starts two weeks today; these next two weeks are vital to re-establish full momentum and the feelgood factor. How do we do that? Well, that is now down to Walsh, Koeman and Moshiri. Personally, I hope something materialises from Walsh's shopping trip in Italy, but my main hope is we don't let this opportunity pass us by to be spoken about as contenders and not also rans.

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Steve Ferns
1 Posted 14/07/2017 at 16:46:30
I think the Rooney transfer has given us momentum. Yes, people were divided before he came. I myself was sat on the fence, leaning one way, then another, but mainly thinking, well it's free so it can't be too much of a risk.

Then Rooney came. We got on the main news last Friday. We were on the main news for every bulletin through to Monday, then the local North West news continued to talk about it and to preview the friendly, then he scored in the friendly yesterday and it was back on all the main news bulletins. I have been amazed at the coverage here in England, particularly the North West, and it appears to me that the Lukaku transfer has been put well and truly in the shade by this.

Okay, last 24 hours, us hard-core Evertonians have been bogged down debating Sigurdsson, but the momentum is still there, still gathering pace. We just need to keep the games coming. It's just two weeks until we play our first European game and then the momentum can really start to build.

Paul Newton
2 Posted 14/07/2017 at 17:55:28
We keep the momentum by signing Sigurdsson – even if we have to meet Swansea's price – and also Giroud. Then we hit the season running. Interesting that Barkley signing doesn't seem so important any more – but that's another story.
Robin Cannon
3 Posted 14/07/2017 at 18:39:07
God, we're a depressing lot sometimes.

Since when has a negotiation period over a potential 㿞 million signing count as "old Everton"? Just because we moved incredibly quickly to sign some players early doesn't mean that a negotiation period isn't entirely normal when signing a player.

Martina is being signed primarily as cover, it's a squad building purchase at no great cost. It's not like we're celebrating the signing as some vital cog in our defence.

Even Benteke... which is no more than a rumour anyway... is a case of signing someone who's 26, has scored roughly 1 in 2 goals per season in the Premier League, and has the same scoring rate for Belgium as Lukaku.

Last week when we signed Rooney we were taking up three or four main stories on the pages of the national newspapers' sports pages. It was more heavily covered then Lukaku joining Man Utd for essentially a world record fee.

If our "new Everton" standard is going to be that we have to be taking up 75% of national newspaper football coverage with positive news stories, then I think we're going to struggle to live up to those standards.

If not... frankly even if we don't end up signing Sigurdsson... I remain very happy at this close season, and I'm pretty confident we haven't "lost momentum".

Lev Vellene
4 Posted 14/07/2017 at 18:59:51
Robin (#3)

That's a good one! I've been keeping track via NewsNow for about a year (and it's fun to see how the news ripples out to the usual hacks that can't do their own research/journalism!). But since Rooney signed, and especially since that goal in an otherwise very average pre-season game, the internet news around the world have exploded with articles both about his signing, and that goal!

We are getting massive PR from Rooney being at Everton, here and now! Heh, there was even one about Twitters from Man Utd fans wanting to re-sign him...

So yes, I feel we really have an actual feel-good factor this season! We fans (at TW, at least...), may be soul-dead veterans from the trenches of the past 30 years; but as the world at large have generally overlooked our club all that time, they don't really have positives or negatives associated with us. Except for us being an ever-present in the Premier League without ever winning it.

We should be happy that we got in all those early signings that Koeman and Walsh seemingly see as important to build the next team. After that, I'll happily wait for a while for any "marquee" signing, as those will mostly depend on the selling club (or the player) waiting for more top-money/high profile moves. Moshiri, and early deals this summer, will not automatically move Everton into actual Champions League contenders by most footballers/agents' view!

Dermot Byrne
5 Posted 14/07/2017 at 19:08:52
The problem is we have come to expect a new signing every other day now!

A good big win on 27th will do just fine.

Robin Cannon
6 Posted 14/07/2017 at 20:27:05
@Dermot (5) - I actually do get disappointed now when I check into the news in the morning and we haven't signed someone.
Frank Crewe
7 Posted 14/07/2017 at 20:43:46

I'm the same. It's like I need a transfer fix. We haven't bought anyone for days and I'm getting withdrawal symptoms.

Tom Bowers
8 Posted 14/07/2017 at 21:26:06
I feel the same way guys. Just think they need something a little more especially as a main striker. Even if they do get Sigurdsson as a bonus for midfield I am not sure that Sandro can be the main go to guy.

Yes, we can throw a few names around already here but they are players who haven't shown they are ready to be a real spearhead yet. I know some will counter by saying that Lukaku didn't fill the bill either, claiming he was lazy, but 25 goals is nothing to sneeze at in the Premier League.

Sandro may take some time to settle so unless Koeman has another strategy in mind then it may not go as we would all like at first. We know Rooney will add something but it would be nice if we could expect something more from Barkley, Mirallas and one or two of the younger, promising forward players.

We may of course be pleasantly surprised by what transpires but many managers and fans are expecting a lot of improvement from their squads when new players come in.

Dermot Byrne
9 Posted 14/07/2017 at 21:43:15
Rest my case. We have become like spoiled little kiddies!
Tony Hill
10 Posted 14/07/2017 at 21:47:48
I'm delighted with the business done so far. But if I had to identify the single most depressing characteristic of Everton over the last 3 years it's our ponderousness, our lack of speed, strength and energy. Of the new signings, who will improve that?

Maybe Sandro, maybe Klaassen with his quick passing. Lookman has something, certainly. I look at most of our players, though, and at our other named targets, and I have a fear that we will be short of pace again throughout the team.

If you're slow then you don't break teams down and you end up with too many draws. Time yet to find the spark but I think it's very important that we do.

Andy Meighan
11 Posted 14/07/2017 at 22:05:23
How anyone could see Giroud being a great signing is beyond me. I could just imagine the comments on here by December... because, believe me, if you thought Lukaku was lazy with a shit first touch, wait til you see 10 or 15 games of this fella.

Anyway, by all accounts, he wants to stay and fight for his place... Phew, bullet dodged there!

Paul Strudwick
12 Posted 14/07/2017 at 22:09:47
I think it's really noticeable that the Rooney story completely dwarfed the Lukaku move in terms of media coverage. Just shows how much Rooney has achieved and is star status and how much Lukaku has yet to achieve.
Mike Corcoran
13 Posted 14/07/2017 at 22:32:23
I would love to see Rooney link up with Chicharito again and get Dzeko.
James Morgan
14 Posted 14/07/2017 at 22:37:13
Tony, I get where you are coming from but with the pressing game we are trying to implement, if you win the ball higher up the pitch then speed becomes less relevant, a killer pass can be all that's needed.

We have Mirallas, Lookman, Sandro, and when he's fit Bolasie as well so we've got a few quick players. Not to mention Calvert-Lewin isn't exactly slow, though admittedly I'm not averse to us bringing in a lightning winger!

Tony Hill
15 Posted 14/07/2017 at 22:49:04
Yes, James, it's going to be very interesting to see if Koeman can craft a system that gets us on the move. I still look back to Lukaku's first goal last season against Bournemouth for the way I would like to see us play more often. Quick, incisive – Goodison was shocked, and not just by how early we scored.
Arthur Westhead
16 Posted 14/07/2017 at 23:23:08
Carl, after reading this article I had to check my calendar to see if it was April 1st!

I've followed Everton for over 50 years and I've never had such a great 'feel good factor'. In fact, never been so excited and looking forward to the season starting. That hasn't been the case many, many times over the years. You say fans are split over Lukaku and Rooney. Well he wanted to go and we got a great price. So how does that split fans?

We are in such a stronger position now and I am just amazed at how quickly we've signed players – great players. We usually have to wait until the last hour of the transfer window for a signing. This is our best pre-season ever. No doubt about it.

Darryl Ritchie
17 Posted 15/07/2017 at 07:07:21
I don't know too much about the momentum thing, but I sure as hell feel pretty good about what we've accomplished so far. Quality in, and the players that have left, should've. I'm still undecided about Barkley, one way or the other.

Koeman has said we'll probably sign one or two more players, so we're not done yet, and the momentum thing will probably take care of itself.

Colin Glassar
18 Posted 15/07/2017 at 07:46:54
See what happens? We go 2-3 days without signing a player and we disappear off the back pages! Wake me up when we sign someone please.
Dave Speed
19 Posted 16/07/2017 at 09:51:41
I really think that momentum, if it is even a factor going in to the season, doesn't come from the pre-season or transfer window. I remember in the past having good pre-seasons and poor starts, and vice-versa.

I think it will start with the Europa League games. If we do well in those then we could be more match fit and confident than Stoke and the others.

I don't want to look at negatives but there might be a settling in period and a time for the team to gel. I hope not as I believe that good players make teams good, and only small adaptations should be the case.

Either way, it is an exciting time and it will be interesting to find out!

Clive Rogers
20 Posted 16/07/2017 at 10:19:00
Andy (#11), Giroud has scored 69 goals for Arsenal in 118 league appearances. Good figures by any standard.
Sam Hoare
21 Posted 16/07/2017 at 10:26:21
Rumours of Giroud to Dortmund. Makes sense as he'll want Champions League football and I'm sure Arsenal would rather not sell him to a potential rival.

We may well end up spending 㿼m on Siggurdsson and Benteke, which personally I think would be fairly wasteful and disappointing. Yes they have performed well in the Premier League at times but I don't think you'd see either of them starting for any of the top 4 teams.

Maybe they are the best we can do till we get a new stadium, win some cups, and prove that we are bridging the gap...

Michael de Carteret
22 Posted 16/07/2017 at 16:22:06
Never been so confident of a good season ahead as this one coming. We have a damn good managerial and coaching set up. We carry on selling players wisely and now we are recruiting some good players. It certainly is a good time to be an Everton supporter!!!

Get to the bookies and stick an each way bet on the Europa League and a bet on a top 4 finish. All we need is a consistent starting 11 to get the team to gel and every squad player doing their bit.

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